Williamsburg's Corner Library: The smallest library in the world

There may be some other contenders for the smallest library title, such as Jozsef Tari’s collection of over 4,500 miniature books, but nonetheless, this mini library in Brooklyn would rival even the ”book booth.”

Located on the corner of Leonard and Withers in Williamsburg, the Corner Library project is the brainchild of artist Colin McMullan, who first installed the functional, utilitarian art project in downtown New Haven before transplanting it here in New York. It’s a mini replica of what a library in a good ol,’ all-American small town would look like, and a timely commentary in an era where the traditional role of a library is changing rapidly with the growth of iPads and Kindles on one end and the aggressive (and shameful IMHO) defunding of town and city libraries on the other. Yet, what I also love about this project is that instead of some unapproachable, pedantic art piece, it’s completely accessible to the local community who jointly run it on the honor system with a volunteer librarian that helps maintain it. The artist explains what you can expect to find inside:

The Library could contain books and printed materials, whatever people want to put in it. It’s meant to encourage alternative and private presses and the sharing of ideas. Books people have made or written themselves, photocopied ‘zines, comics, self-published newspapers, and books you’ve read with your recommendations to the next reader are all possible inclusions in the Corner Library. CDs, DVDs, and other media we want to share with each other could all be part of the collection.

The Corner Library is open 24 hours. All you need to get inside is the lock code, which you get from McMullan himself. You can also browse the current titles and objects in the Corner Library at its Tumblr. This is such a wonderful idea; I hope it catches on in other communities.